Would you have this surgery?
Would you have this surgery? I’m not sure I would. Before you decide, let me give you the details. My father is being scheduled for open heart surgery next month. He has 3 major clogged arteries and 2 faulty valves. Today, this is a very common surgery with a high success rate. In theory it could extend his life by 10 or even 20 years (of course assuming he doesn’t get hit by a truck 3 months later). A few years ago he completely recovered from Stage 3 rectal cancer, among other non-major, various surgeries. He is 75. The conversation I had with him is, “Why? Do you really want to live another 20 years, to 95”? Before you judge me, I love my father. My children love him. I want 20 more Christmases and Thanksgivings with him… But the question I am asking is a moral one, not an emotional one, because there is a difference. Why do we try so hard to extend our lives? For what? To enjoy 10 more years of McDonald’s? Sunsets? Nights cuddling with our loved ones? Do we try because we really believe life is finite and death is the end? I personally don’t. I could give you reasons why I know it isn’t, but faith is an individual experience. At 75 if you have some great service you have yet to bring to the world, some great work of art, some math theory that could decrease pollution, then by all means, stay. But isn’t there some irresponsibility and selfishness in the higher order of things to do everything we can to stay alive, a little longer? Will 10 more years change or improve the life he lived? To stay, and deplete more resources from the planet? Spend the amount of money for this type of surgery that could be used to help dying children or poverty? At 43 I would absolutely do the surgery. I have 3 small children who depend on me. However, I give them everything I can every day. I know my voice is strong in their heads, of right and wrong, and good and bad. I know what I embed in them will echo forever… I have no fear of dying, and can honestly say if it is my time I am ready, other than the fear of pain. I know life is precious and have done everything I want and continue to. Genuinely. I eat healthy. I give back. I don’t drink. I do everything I can to live the best life I can, consciously and on purpose. Aren’t we selfishly trying to defy evolution? Darwinism predicts the stronger gene or cell will survive. Dawkinism states the best suited to its environment at the time will survive… Aren’t we constantly interfering in evolution? Species become extinct every day and some evolve to survive. Maybe intervening in all these ailments and diseases, is temporary, and we are actually preventing our DNA from adapting and evolving. I asked my Dad the same question, what do you want 10 more years to do with? At least make them count.